From 2016 – and Now More Relevant – The Shomrim/Shmira Misnomer – Hasidic “Cops” With the NYPD as the Auxiliary Cops

Meet the Shomrim—the Hasidic Volunteer ‘Cops’ Who Answer to Nobody

New York pols from Mayor de Blasio down have supported the groups, even as accounts of their rough conduct pile up.

NYPD Inspector Michael Ameri shot himself Friday in a Department car hours after the FBI reportedly questioned him for a second time about a series of alleged payoffs made by members of New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community—including several big donors to Mayor Bill de Blasio—to high-ranking officials in the NYPD.

That probe has focused on lurid reports of diamonds for top cops’ wives and hookers for those cops on free flights to Vegas, but it’s also put a spotlight on a longstanding nexus of shady dealings between New York City politicians, including the mayor, the NYPD, and the Jewish community’s own “volunteer” police.

A few months before killing himself, Ameri cut ties with one such pretend police officer, Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, the New York Post reported. Last month, Lichtenstein was arrested and charged with offering thousands of dollars in cash bribes to cops in the department’s gun licensing bureau in exchange for very tough to obtain in New York City gun permits.

Lichtenstein reportedly bragged that he had procured them for 150 friends and associates, charging $18,000 a pop and paying a third of that to his police connections. According to prosecutors, the scheme had enabled a man with a prior criminal history that included four domestic violence complaints and “a threat against someone’s life” to obtain a gun.

In the criminal complaint, filed in Manhattan federal court, Lichtenstein was identified as a member of Borough Park’s private, all male, unarmed volunteer security patrol, known as the Shomrim (Hebrew for “guards” or “watchers”).

The complaint did not identify any of Lichtenstein’s alleged customers, however, but sources knowledgeable about the Shomrim are skeptical that he was obtaining permits on behalf of, or for, the Shomrim as an organization. Instead, they argue, it is more plausible that Lichtenstein was operating as a freelancer—albeit one who likely exploited police connections nurtured during his time as a member of the group.

After all, it is not exactly a secret that the Shomrim—along with others from the ultra-Orthodox community who serve as unpaid liaisons to various city and state law enforcement agencies–maintain close relations with members of the NYPD, and particularly those who serve in their local precincts.

For example, news sites and Twitter accounts that play to an ultra-Orthodox audience are littered with pictures of Shomrim hobnobbing with high-ranking police officers at pre-holiday “briefings,” honoring them with “appreciation” awards at community breakfasts or charity dinners, and even engaging in friendly competition at an annual summer softball game.

But Lichtenstein aside, it would be a mistake to conclude that for the Shomrim at least these relationships are motivated by the prospect of personal financial gain or status concerns, even though there’s no doubt that having an “in” with the cops can boost one’s standing in the community. Instead, access and influence are the means of achieving a more important communal goal: the freedom to operate as the de facto police force of their communities, but with backup from the cops in the most dangerous situations.

In some sense, it is almost as if the Shomrim view the NYPD as their auxiliary police.

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The first of these Brooklyn patrol groups were formed in the 1970s in the Hasidic neighborhoods of Crown Heights and Williamsburg in response to rising neighborhood crime and the belief that the police were not up the task of keeping Jews safe. (The journalist and author Matthew Shaer traces the roots of the Crown Heights patrol to a Hasidic rabbi and teacher named Samuel Schrage, who in 1964 founded a group called the Crown Heights Maccabees following the alleged assault of Hasidic students by a group of black youth and the attempted rape of a rabbi’s wife by a black man.)

Today, Shomrim (and in some cases, rival groups known as Shmira) exist in every ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn (and in other ultra-Orthodox communities in the U.S. and abroad). The groups operate independently and, while their leaders are fond of characterizing them as the “eyes and ears” of their communities, responding to hotline calls about everything from vandalism, missing persons and attempted robbery to domestic violence and even sexual abuse, they do much more than watch and listen. In Brooklyn, they are equippedwith SUVs and cruisers tricked out with “police package” flashing lights, sophisticated two-way radio dispatch systems, bulletproof vests and outfits emblazoned with shields that look an awful lot like NYPD ones—all paid for by donations and, in some cases, government largesse funneled to them by members of the City Council.

While they lack the authority to make arrests, even with those similar shields, the Shomrim often do things like search, chase, apprehend, and detain.

Indeed, as the head of the Borough Park Shomrim explained to the Village Voice’s Nick Pinto in 2011, people in the community call Shomrim because “they want to see action right away, not get caught up in a lot of questions and answers…Not that that isn’t the right way for the police to do it—who am I to say they shouldn’t ask a lot of questions?”

But people also call Shomrim—as opposed to 911—because, after all, cops are outsiders. And outsiders cannot always be counted on to be sensitive to the specific concerns of the religious community, concerns that include the desire/obligation to protect other Jews from the long arm of the law. And so, while the Shomrim are not averse—and sometimes quite eager—to help cops nab a suspect who is not one of their own, they can be much less forthcoming when a fellow Jew is the suspect.

For example, back in 2011, the coordinator of the Borough Park Shomrim let it slip to the press that his organization maintained a list of suspected ultra-Orthodox child molesters they don’t report to the police because “the rabbis don’t let you.” While there are respected Orthodox rabbis who say the police should be called in cases of suspected abuse, their rulings are not being followed in many quarters of ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn, where this attitude has long stymied law enforcement efforts.

Those comments came in the wake of the murder and dismemberment of an 8-year-old Hasidic child, Leiby Kletzky, who had been abducted by his killer, a member of the religious communty, while walking home from school. When the boy failed to meet his mother at the appointed time, she contacted the Shomrim, who swung into action and mobilized a search; their first contact with police came over two hours later.

At the time, many in the community justified the delay by arguing that the cops would not have taken the missing-person case seriously until more time had elapsed (a claim the NYPD disputed, noting cases involving missing children are acted on immediately). Some members of the Hasidic community also acknowledged privately that another possible reason for the wait to involve police: The fear, reasonable or not, that even had the child been found safe, Child Protective Services might have opened an investigation into why the parents allowed their son to leave school unsupervised.

This instinct toward protecting members of the community—and the community as a whole—is a theme that emerges in stories ultra-Orthodox sources tell about instances where the Shomrim have allegedly discouraged victims of violence or abuse at the hands of fellow Jews from reporting those crimes directly to the police, or even urged Jewish business and homeowners to withhold security footage that might implicate a Jew in a crime.

Indeed, in the wake of Leiby Kletzky’s murder a Jewish organization was given a million-dollar government grant arranged by state legislators to operate a network of security cameras on city lampposts in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Borough Park and Midwood. The organization hired a private firm to operate the network and made the decision, together with Assemblyman Dov Hikind, as to where to install the cameras. Initial reports indicating that the NYPD would have access to the footage only after making a request to the private firm caused a firestorm of protest from civil libertarians and those alarmed by government funding of private security initiatives. Ultimately, when the program was unveiled, the company’s founder said that “the local Shomrim patrol organization would have no access to the cameras but that in any event of an ongoing crime, local law enforcement authorities will be given on-time access to a live feed of the cameras.”

There are also allegations circulating on blogs and in chatrooms about Shomrim members and leaders who abuse their power within these communities, taking protection money from business and using their ties to the cops to get their rivals picked up on bogus charges.

Shomrim leaders have repeatedly denied these kinds of allegations and because the people who recount such stories refuse to be publicly identified, citing fears of reprisal, their claims are impossible to fully investigate and verify.

The cops, too, are well aware of the power the Shomrim yield—power that’s also expressed in the cash the groups receive from city politicians—but, like the members of the religious community, are also reluctant to express their frustrations publicly.

A rare exception was when then-Police Commissioner Ray Kelly acknowledged at a press conference that the delay in notifying the police about Leiby Kletzky was a “longstanding issue with Shomrim” and that traditionally, “certain members of the community have confidence in Shomrim and go to them first.” But Kelly also added that the delay had apparently not hampered the investigation and praised the Shomrim as “a positive force.”

One possible reason cops might not want to publicly criticize the Shomrim is the fact, some say, that over the years the bigwigs in the ultra-Orthodox community have been helpful to them, particularly in aiding friendly officers secure discretionary promotions.

Veteran cops reporter Leonard Levitt last month offered this short, sharp item:

“Ethics Training? Following the transfers of four of the department’s top brass, Bratton announced the department was conducting ethics training for its top officers. Maybe they should start with a warning about the dangers of getting too close to the powerful and insular Hasidic community. Instructors might include Chief Joe Fox, former Chief of Department Joe Esposito and retired Chief Mike Scagnelli.”

That comports with the speculation of one retired NYPD official: “the simple way to connect dots is that guys like [former Chief of Department] Joe Esposito and [former NYPD Traffic Chief] Mike Scagnelli were, at one time, commanders in the 66th precinct. With such longstanding roots in the community, these uniformed guys and the machers stayed close as they rose up the ranks. With [Esposito] as the longest serving chief of the department, the [Hasidim] were in a wonderful position for over 12 years to exercise immense influence over many promotions.”

The former official continued, “(Chief of Transit) Joe Fox himself was a remarkable beneficiary of these discretionary promotions. Everyone loved Fox, and he was the longest serving Borough Commander of Brooklyn South by far. In the 1990s, he achieved three discretionary promotions in 3 years… all while the commander of the 71st precinct [which includes Crown Heights]. From captain to chief in three years, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

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TO READ THE REMAINDER OF THE ARTICLE CLICK HERE.

Orthodox Jews Should Be Speaking Out Against the Shomrim Patrol – Another Argument for Dismantling Shomrim

It’s Time Orthodox Jews Speak Out Against Shomrim Patrol

The Brooklyn Hasidim accused of beating a young, gay black man named Taj Patterson back in 2013 are reportedly about to get a plea deal so sweet, they won’t serve a single day in prison. Patterson, who was beaten so badly that he was left blind in one eye, and who had homophobic slurs hurled at him throughout the ordeal, is surely having a hard time understanding the aftermath.

Why did local police quickly drop the investigation into his attack, despite available eyewitnesses, until his mother’s persistence shamed them into action? Why didn’t the membership of several of the alleged attackers in a Hasidic security patrol prompt the cops to widen their search to probe the discriminatory history of the Shomrim, as the patrol is called — instead of writing “CLOSED” over the case within 24 hours of the first report and listing the charge as a misdemeanor, not a hate crime? And why are the three alleged assailants who still await trial (two have already walked) apparently going to get off so easy, instead of facing prison terms?

Prosecutors haven’t told reporters why Patterson’s brutal beating isn’t worth jail time. Maybe, as anonymous sources told The Daily News, witnesses who originally implicated the defendants are suddenly getting cold feet. But in that case, Patterson must be wondering why the Brooklyn district attorney can’t charge someone among the insular, “informer”-blaming Williamsburg Hasidim with intimidating those witnesses, instead of folding his cards and letting the alleged attackers walk free.

But Orthodox Jews like me — we know why, don’t we?

For too long we’ve allowed a system of Jewish-run patrols to dominate the heavily Orthodox Jewish enclaves of Brooklyn, usurping the role of the official police force (with key support from vote-hungry politicians), despite their record of violence toward non-Jews. And for years we’ve held our tongues as the patrols’ unchecked behavior carried on.

 

The cover-up of the assault on Patterson isn’t the first such outrage in Brooklyn. When Orthodox patrol members in Crown Heights allegedly beat and maced Andrew Charles, another young black man, back in 2008, the key suspect was ignored by Brooklyn authorities after he fled to Israel. Prosecutors eventually did get him extradited, but while they were trying, the alleged attacker still got vigorous support from a group of “top rabbis, community heads, and [Orthodox] Assemblyman Dov Hikind,” as the Daily News reported in November 2011. Those heavy hitters even had the chutzpah to accuse the Brooklyn DA of anti-Semitism!

Read more: https://forward.com/opinion/341076/its-time-orthodox-jews-speak-out-against-shomrim-patrol/

The Satmar-Ruled Brooklyn pt. 3: Councilmember Steve Levin’s $64,000 Donation to Shomrim, Taj Peterson

Taj Patterson

Levin Funds Patrol Tied to Anti-Gay Assault

Brooklyn councilmember aids Orthodox group that detained, beat Taj Patterson

City Councilmember Steve Levin, who is a member of that body’s Progressive Caucus and an LGBTQ community supporter, has given at least $64,500 in Council discretionary funds to a Brooklyn community patrol that attacked a gay African-American man in Williamsburg in 2013, leaving the man blind in one eye.

Levin, who was first elected to the City Council in 2009 and is now serving his third term having benefited from the one-time change to the city’s two-term limit, represents a district that includes Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and other Brooklyn neighborhoods.

In Williamsburg, the large Orthodox Jewish community is ostensibly protected by the Shmira Volunteer Patrol, which also uses the name Williamsburg Safety Patrol. In December 2013, Shmira members set upon Taj Patterson, now 28, when he was observed walking in the street on Flushing Avenue in Williamsburg. He suffered a broken eye socket, bruises, abrasions, and was left blind in one eye. No charges were ever filed against Patterson.

This patrol and others serving Orthodox Jewish communities say that they merely detain criminal suspects until police arrive. Witnesses to the attack who testified in the trial of one patrol member described a mob of roughly 20 men. Videos showed the men racing in cars to the site of the attack at roughly the same time.

Pinchas Braver and Abraham Winkler pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment in the attack. Charges against Aharon Hollender and Joseph Fried were dropped. Mayer Herskovic refused a deal and his non-jury trial took place in 2016 before Judge Danny Chun in Brooklyn Supreme Court. He faced multiple counts of unlawful imprisonment, assault, gang assault, and menacing.

Herskovic was convicted because his DNA was found on Patterson’s sneaker that had been pulled from his foot by the same man who jabbed a thumb in his eye and kicked him in the face, Patterson testified during the trial. That man took the sneaker and tossed it on to a nearby roof where police recovered it six days after the attack. Herskovic was sentenced to four years in prison in 2017, but was allowed to remain free while he appealed.

Last year, a state appeals court found that the evidence at trial was “legally sufficient to establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” but after using its “independent factual review power, we conclude that the verdict of guilt was against the weight of the evidence.”

The conviction was reversed and Herskovic’s indictment was dismissed. The issue was that the DNA sample was small and tested using high sensitivity DNA testing. It was also a mix of Patterson’s DNA and Herskovic’s DNA. The result was that the ratio that expresses the confidence that the DNA belongs to a particular person was lower than what is usually found with larger and unmixed samples.

Patterson has filed lawsuits in state and federal court against the patrol, individual members of the patrol, and the city. The federal case has been dismissed though Patterson has appealed that dismissal. The state lawsuit is ongoing.

Levin first supported the patrol with $9,000 in the city’s 2011 fiscal year. Since then he has given the patrol $15,000 in 2016, $16,500 in 2017, $12,000 in 2018, and $12,000 in the 2019 fiscal year.

In a motion filed last year in federal court by the city’s Law Department, the city said, “It is beyond dispute that plaintiff-appellant Taj Patterson was the victim of a horrific hate crime perpetrated by a vigilante group, and is entitled to justice.”

The city’s motion said the patrol was a “hate-filled mob” that decided “to illegally attack an innocent victim while cloaked in the dark of night,” that the attackers were acting on a “sadistic urge to violently beat Taj Patterson,” and that the attackers knew “that their conduct was illegal.”

The city also said that Patterson’s attackers “allegedly belonged” to “an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood safety patrol.”

Citing a statement issued by the patrol in 2014, Levin wrote in an email that only one of the five men who faced criminal charges, Winkler, was a patrol member and that he was expelled from the patrol in 2014.

“The assault on Mr. Patterson is incredibly serious and I firmly believe that anyone who took part in the assault must face the consequenc­es,” Levin wrote in an email. “That said, I have not seen evidence that Williamsburg Safety Patrol, as an organization, took part in or condoned the assault on Mr. Patterson nor have I seen evidence that they have protected any of their volunteers from investigation or prosecution. In fact, they moved to remove one of their volunteers, Mr. Winkler, when he was charged with taking part in the assault.”

To read the remainder of the article click here.

The Satmar-Ruled Brooklyn pt. 2: The Shomrim Acting with Impunity… and Money

Shomrim.1

Dear Reader:

The following article was not written by LM. We have republished it from another source http://www.patheos.com. It was written by Adam Lee. We did not take the liberty of correcting any typos or grammatical errors but left it as published. We emphasize, with all of our reposts, that the publication to our site should not be deemed to be an endorsement of our site by anyone else, nor an endorsement of their site by us. When there are views in common, we believe they are worth sharing.

LM

 

The Problem of the Shomrim

I’ve written before about the malign influence of New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect. They want to shut out the modern world and recreate a medieval theocracy, and because their members vote in lockstep obedience to the commands of their rabbis, they wield outsized political power.

In the Brooklyn neighborhoods and other towns where they’re the majority, they’ve committed one outrage after another: taking over school boards and strip-mining public schools, trying to impose gender apartheid on public spaces, prohibiting boys and especially girls from receiving an education, perpetuating barbaric religious rituals, brutally harassing and persecuting ex-members… and they do all this while shamelessly siphoning government assistance from the society they live in, demanding that others labor to feed, clothe and house them while they engage in lives of endless religious study.

But today’s outrage may exceed all of those.

It comes from a post I saw on Reddit’s popular Legal Advice forum. The poster, who’s a gay man, wrote a plea for help with this title: I am being harassed by the orthodox Jewish “police” in my home. This has been going on for almost 2 years since I moved in. I am at my wits end, what can I do to stop it?

He begins:

I live in Brooklyn NY. I purchased a condo about 2 years ago in a building where a good chunk of the apartments are rented out by Orthodox families. i would say that 45% of the building is occupied by Orthodox families renting and the rest are condos owned + occupied by non orthodox people. I honestly did not care and did not think this would be a problem.

However, it seems the other families in his apartment building don’t share his live-and-let-live attitude. They disagree with his “lifestyle”, so they’ve been trying to harass and intimidate him into moving out:

The issue is that they have been using the Jewish police to harass me. To give you an idea of the shit I am dealing with I’ll tell you what prompted this post. I chose to have a Superbowl viewing party today. About 30 minutes into the start of the party (when there were FIVE people here) I get a knock at my door and standing there are two fake police who try to tell me they got a ‘noise complaint’ and a complaint that we are using ‘illicit substances’ that i have to end my party. We were in my yard at this point literately just talking and smoking (cigs).

Yes, he said “fake police”. We’ll get to that.

But it gets even more shocking. The Hasidim’s harassment has been escalating over time, until it’s come to this point:

Since then, they have been standing outside of my building trying to prevent people I INVITED from entering and have been harassing my guess, treating to ticket them and demanding to search them.

When the poster was asked to clarify, he explained:

the main door opens by buzzer. ill buzz someone in and they will physically stand shoulder to shoulder in front of the doorway and tell my guest that they dont have permission to enter (after i just buzzed them in) and if they try to push past them will physically push them out and threaten to assault them if they keep trying to get in.

now whenever someone is coming over who doesnt have a key I always go down and open the door myself but i have to ask them 15 times to move to let me do so and sometimes have to call the nypd to come and make them move to let people in.

The group that’s harassing this person is called the shomrim, Hebrew for “guards”. They’re a neighborhood watch that’s active in ultra-Orthodox communities. They style themselves a civilian auxiliary whose only goal is to assist the police in protecting their neighborhoods from crime. The reality, according to this poster and to many others who’ve had experience with them, is that they operate as a vigilante mob – harassing outsiders, violently beating anyone they suspect of committing a crime, and treating ultra-Orthodox religious dogma as if it were law.

A New York Times article from 2016 has some examples, like this one:

Shortly before 5 a.m. on Dec. 1, 2013, a young black man named Taj Patterson was walking home through Hasidic Williamsburg after a night out with his friends. Mr. Patterson, a fashion student, was drunk. As he made his way up Flushing Avenue, a local shomrim group received a call about someone vandalizing cars. What was soon a throng of more than a dozen people stopped Mr. Patterson on a quiet stretch of Flushing in between Spencer and Walworth Streets. He resisted; there was a scuffle. Mr. Patterson soon lay on the ground with a crushed eye socket, a torn retina and permanent blindness in his right eye.

But while they’re swift to unleash mob violence on outsiders, especially people of color, they take a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil attitude when it comes to crimes committed by one of their own:

“Who is really controlling the Borough Park police station?” asked Joe Levin, a Hasidic private investigator who has clashed with the shomrim. “It’s not the N.Y.P.D.”

A few years ago, Mr. Levin said he handled a divorce case where a husband was beating his wife. One day, he added, the woman was hurt so badly that an ambulance removed her from her home on a stretcher. The police and the shomrim were also at the scene, he said, but no one did a thing when the husband rushed out, flipped the stretcher and knocked her to the ground.

“I saw this with my own eyes — everybody did,” Mr. Levin said.

The worst part is that, because of the Hasidim’s political pull, the shomrim have virtual impunity. The Legal Advice poster says that he’s tried many times to get the real police to intervene and stop this brazen harassment of him and his guests. Even with video evidence, they refuse to act:

Continue reading

And Who are We Calling Racist Thugs? Mayer Heskovic Decision Overturned.

Verdict Overturned In Case of Hasidic Jewish Man Convicted in Brutal Gang Beating of Black Fashion Student

A Hasidic man sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the brutal gang attack on a Black fashion student in Brooklyn, New York, is walking free of all charges after a state appeals court on Wednesday tossed out his guilty verdict.

Mayer Herskovic was found guilty at his non-jury trial in September 2016 of gang assault and related charges after he and a gang of Hasidic neighborhood watch members jumped victim Taj Patterson, beating the fashion student so badly that he was left blinded in one eye.

Recalling the vicious 2013 attack in Williamsburg, Patterson testified that Herskovic shoved a thumb in his eye and that one of his eye sockets was fractured after the gang chased and attacked him as he walked to the subway station. Judges for the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department ruled, however, that Patterson’s testimony was shaky at times and did not prove without a reasonable doubt that Herskovic was his attacker.

“Mayer is overjoyed,” Herskovic’s attorney, Donna Aldea, said. “The decision means that, for all intents and purposes, he is innocent.”

The case unfolded Dec. 1, 2013, when Patterson, then 22, was headed to the subway after a night out drinking with friends. That’s when a group of Hasidic men, some of them part of a neighborhood patrol group called the Shomrim, ruthlessly beat him, all because of a false claim that Patterson was out vandalizing cars, The New York Times reported.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office originally charged five men in connection with the attack, but prosecutors dropped charges against two of the assailants and let the other two plead guilty to lesser crimes, avoiding jail time. Herskovic was the only one to take his case to trial, where he was ultimately convicted.

Upending the conviction, appellate judges noted in their decision that Patterson had failed to positively identify his assailants and pointed to the victim’s contradictory accounts of the attack.

“Notably, the complainant and others who testified at trial gave conflicting accounts of the assault,” judges wrote. “Among other things, the complainant testified that the person who pulled off his sneaker was the same person who shoved a thumb in his eye. He referred to this person as the ‘ringleader’ and one of the men who’d initially chased him. However, he also testified that the person he identified as the ringleader wasn’t the defendant.”

Moreover, jurists argued that the DNA evidence initially used to convict Herskovic was “less than convincing” and didn’t definitively point to him as Patterson’s attacker.

“We respect the court’s decision,” said Oren Yaniv, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

As for Patterson, he told The New York Post by phone he needed “time to process” the ruling and refused to comment further.

It’s unclear if the DA’s office plans to convene another grand jury, however, prosecutors would have to secure a fresh indictment in order to retry to the case at all, according to the newspaper.

Law enforcement officials said Wednesday’s ruling means it’s likely no one will ever serve jail time for the brutal attack on Patterson.

To continue reading click here.

 

Hate Crime Beating, Hasidic Thugs, Politically Connected Shomrim and 4 Years – NO JUSTICE!

taj-patterson

THE NY DAILY NEWS REPORTS:

Hasidic man gets four years for role in group beating of gay black man in Brooklyn

It’s four years for an eye.

A Brooklyn judge sentenced a Hasidic Jewish man to four years in prison for participating in a vicious beatdown that left a gay black man blind in one eye.

Mayer Herskovic was not the only person who assaulted Taj Patterson on Flushing Ave. in December 2013. But he’s the only attacker getting prison time.

“Those who stomped and chased (Patterson) did try to injure him. The defendant was involved, he participated and was found guilty for that,” said Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun.

Cop: We used trick to get video of Hasidic men beating victim

Patterson, 25, did not attend the court proceedings in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Thursday — he previously said he wants to move on with his life.

Nonetheless, the lasting effects of the senseless attack will remain with him.

“Mr. Patterson asked himself why all this happened to him and he concluded it’s because he was a young black male in a predominately Orthodox neighborhood,” Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough said on behalf of the victim.

According to trial testimony, Patterson was walking to his Fort Greene home when men — some belonging to the Williamsburg Shomrim, a Jewish patrol group — began chasing after him. The attackers mistook him for the suspect in a car vandalism streak, prosecutors previously said.

EXCLUSIVE: Gay, black man who was brutally attacked sues city

“This defendant, that group and the community couldn’t see him as an individual, but as a criminal,” said Gough, who recommended Herskovic receive five years in prison.

Video surveillance showed men chasing Patterson for blocks. One person with a walkie-talkie was identified at trial as Yoelli (Joel) Itzkowitz, but he was not questioned for his role in the attack.

One of Patterson’s lawyers has urged the Brooklyn DA’s office to indict Itzkowitz, alleging prosecutors have overlooked Itzkowitz because his brother is the politically connected coordinator of the Williamsburg Shomrim.

Four men in addition to Herskovic were charged in the beating. Two of the cases were dismissed and two of the attackers took plea deals sentencing them to 150 hours of community service each.

“Amongst all participants who stomped and beat Mr. Patterson, this defendant wasn’t the most culpable,” Chun said of Herskovic. “Mr. Patterson was chased for blocks, but not by the defendant before me.”

Prosecutors placed Herskovic at the scene thanks to DNA found on one of Patterson’s sneakers that was thrown to the roof of a nearby building.

The “deeply scarred” Patterson asked the judge to sentence Herskovic to the maximum of 15 years in prison for the second-degree gang assault and unlawful imprisonment charges.

“When Patterson woke up in the hospital, he didn’t know where he was. He was upset, frightened and alone,” said Gough.

The victim has had surgery three times, but he’ll never regain eyesight in his right eye.

“I wish I can take back what happened to Mr. Patterson all those years ago … I hope he finds peace for all he has suffered and endured,” Herskovic told the judge as he pleaded for a lenient sentence.

“I’m 24, my life is about family, helping people,” he added. “I work as a construction worker. I work with all kinds of people, black, white, Hispanic, gay and not gay.”

Nevertheless, his lawyer Stuart Slotnick asserted outside of court that “the DNA evidence was completely and totally flawed.”

TO READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY FROM THE NY DAILY NEWS CLICK HERE.